January 28, 1993
Digest: A Family Court judge who also is an adjunct professor at a community college may participate in the activities of the faculty union, but must do so within the framework of the law, including the Taylor Law.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.2(a)
A Family Court judge, who also is an adjunct professor of business law at a community college, has been asked to join the New York State United Teachers Union, which is the authorized bargaining agent for adjunct professors. The judge has requested an opinion whether it is ethical to belong to a union, and if so, whether a judge may participate in union activities and meetings.
In Opinion 89-103 (Vol. IV), this Committee found that a judge who was also a professor at a county community college could participate fully in all legal activities of the college's faculty association, which negotiates contracts and salaries on behalf of the faculty with the county. Thus, a judge who also serves as an adjunct professor may attend union meetings and participate in any union activity which does not conflict with the law, including the Taylor Law (22 NYCRR 100.2[a]).